Stress Free Thanksgiving Meal

Saying that the holidays can be stressful is like saying …..something incredibly obvious that I can’t seem to come up with at the moment.  Let’s just say we all agree the holidays can be stressful.

We acknowledge that not everyone finds cooking for the masses a form of stress release.  If you would rather receive a bikini wax while downhill skiing than spend hours in the kitchen cooking then we have just the Thanksgiving solution you’ve been looking for.

We have come up with an entire Thanksgiving feast that combines a few ready made items with a generous amount of homemade goodness. Following our recipes and tips will help satisfy your guests, allow you to enjoy the holiday and may just keep you from hiding in the pantry face first in a bottle of something 50 proof!

The best part? We made all of this in just one hour! Don’t believe us? Scroll to the bottom of this post and check out our Facebook video where we did it live!

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We’ll start off with the main dish. What’s Thanksgiving without turkey? We skipped the sweet potato casserole and saved time by dicing them up and tossing them in a turkey bag with our featured dish!

 

Roast Turkey Breast and Legs with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 2 Turkey Legs, Smoked
  • 2 Lb Turkey Breast, Smoked
  • 2 Sweet Potates, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, unsalted Room Temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Thyme, Rosemary and Sage Fresh
  • 1 Large Roasting Bag

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

  2. Chop thyme, rosemary and sage either by hand, with a small food chopper or crush them with a mortar and pestle. In a small bowl combine the herbs and softened butter. 

  3. Place turkey legs and breast and diced sweet potatoes in a roasting bag. Pour the butter and herbs over the contents in the roasting bag. Close the roasting bag and place on a baking sheet top side down. 

  4. Place in your oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. 

 

On our show we had quite the discussion about the purpose of the “turkey bag.” We use it because it keeps the turkey from drying out and makes clean up a breeze! If you’re on the hunt for the perfect roasting bag bag for your Thanksgiving turkey, we recommend this one.

Just because we went quick and simple on the featured dish doesn’t mean we have to skip out on the gravy!  Follow our super easy gravy recipe and you will fool even the most snooty eaters into believing you worked for hours on this Thanksgiving masterpiece!

 

Quick and Easy Gravy

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Cornstarck
  • 2 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning You can use fresh Thyme, Rosemary and Sage
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan heat 1 1/2 cups of the chicken stock.  

  2. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 chicken stock with the 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Be sure to add the liquid to the dry, this will help prevent your gravy from becoming lumpy. 

  3. Pour the cornstarch mixture to the heated chicken stock. Add seasoning, salt and pepper, allow liquid to begin to boil. 

  4. Reduce the heat to simmer, add milk. 

  5. Continue to stir until the gravy becomes the desired consistency.  

We love stuffing!  The savory herb seasoned bread saturated with amazing flavor and just a touch of sweetness just cries out “Home for the Holidays!”  Our quick and easy stuffing recipe will shorten your time in the kitchen but won’t come up short on goodness!

 

Simple Savory Stuffing With Pear and Dried Apricots


Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 2 Boxes Store Bought Stuffing Mix We used the herb variety
  • 3 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Stick Butter, Unsalted
  • 2 Fresh Pears, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Apricots, diced

Instructions

  1. Pour dried stuffing mix into a 9x13 baking dish.  

  2. In a large box heat chicken stock and butter in the microwave. Pour heated chicken stock and melted butter over the dried stuffing mix. 

  3. Add diced pears and diced dried apricots, stir until mixture is completely combined. 

  4. Place in 400 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes?  We’ve taken store bought mashed potatoes and kicked them up just a bit!

 

Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 2 Box Mashed Potatoes, Store bought prepared
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1-2 Tbsp Garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Heat in the microwave until potatoes are hot and the parmesan cheese is melted.  How stinkin' easy is that??

Classic green bean casserole is a staple at our Thanksgiving table.  This tried and true dish was simple from the start!

 

Green Bean Casserole


Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 3 14.5 oz Cans Cut Green Beans, drained
  • 2 10.5 oz Cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 3 Oz Dried French Fried Onions, divided
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine green beans, cream of mushroom soup and half of the dried onions.  Pour the mixture into an 8x8 baking dish.  

  2. Top with remaining onions and place in 400 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until casserole begins to bubble in the middle and is browned on the outside edges!

The sweetness from canned fruit combined with the tartness of the cranberry sauce combine creating not only a beautiful accompaniment but a super tasty one as well!

 

Cranberry Relish


Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 11 oz can Mandarin Oranges, Drained
  • 1 8 oz can Crushed Pineapple with the juice
  • 1 Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
  • Zest of One Orange

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine crushed pineapple with the juice and unflavored gelatin.  Stir until the gelatin is dissolved in the pineapple juice.  

  2. Add cranberry sauce and drained mandarin oranges, stir well. Add the zest of one orange and stir. 

  3. Place relish in a pretty glass serving dish and place in the refrigerator. Allow relish to chill for at least 30 minutes. If you prefer a sweeter relish you can add a bit of sugar to the pineapple and gelatin mixture.  

We busted out the microplane to zest the orange in the cranberry relish recipe! Need a microplane of your own? This is the one we use!

What Thanksgiving table would be complete without a super sweet pumpkin treat?  No need to bust out the rolling pin with this pumpkin goodness.  Our pumpkin gooey butter cake may just make you want to start the meal with dessert first!

 

Pumpking Gooey Buttercake


Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 11
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Butter Cake Mix
  • 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 4 Whole Eggs, Divided
  • 1 Pound Powdered Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Pumpkin
  • 8 Ounce Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl combine dry cake mix, one egg and 1 stick melted unsalted butter, mix completely.  Pat cake mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.  

  2. In the same bowl that you mixed the cake mix crust in combine cream cheese (be sure that this is super soft) and 1 stick melted unsalted butter. Once the cream cheese and butter and blended add the eggs one at a time. Be sure to mix well between each egg addition. 

  3. Add powdered sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to the filling mixture, stir well.

  4. Pour filling over the cake mix crust. Place in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes.

  5. The center of the cake will still be slightly soft. Do not over bake.

    Allow cake to cool before cutting. I love to serve this cake with whipped topping or caramel sauce and pecans! 

Just because this Thanksgiving meal was quick and simple to prepare doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a rest when it’s complete.

Snuggle up next to a warm fire or someone you love and sip on this delicious spiced cider.  Add a shot of spiced rum if you are so inclined and feel the warm all the way down to your toes! Simple and delicious warm cider will not only tempt your taste buds but will make your home smell amazing too!

 

Warm Spiced Apple Cider


Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12
Author Jennifer

Ingredients

  • 1 Gallon Fresh Apple Cider
  • 2 Tsp Crystalized Ginger
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Shot Spiced Rum per cup Optional

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients except for the rum in your crock pot or slow cooker.  Set temp. to low.  Allow the cider and spices to warm.  Serve in a sweet holiday mug.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick.  Add a shot of spiced rum to each mug of cider for an extra special kick!

You don’t need a recipe for the short cut brownies.  Pick up a package of store bought brownies at your local grocery store or bakery.  Garnish them with some frosting, fresh fruit and a fresh mint leaf for a little something special.  Don’t forget to display them on a pretty platter or plate if you want to take all the credit for this dessert!

 

 

We purchased this serving tray a while back and it’s gotten it’s fair share of use! We think everyone should have a aYou can find a similar one here.

 

 

Whohoo! You made it to the end! We prepared this entire meal in one hour and three minutes! Don’t believe us? Check out our Facebook show below! And make sure you like and follow us on Facebook.

 

It really is this easy to prepare and serve a holiday meal the whole family will love without slaving away in the kitchen all day. Will you be trying any of our recipes this Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below!